LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE

THURSDAY THOUGHT

Today I was inspired by this quote shared by Julia Erickson: There are two voices in your mind; one is always wrong.~Karen Casey.  It isn't always easy to know which voice to listen to, but in the end we often just know which one is right.  It may not be the easiest, most pleasant, or enticing choice, but....

If you are faced with a difficult decision today and continue to find yourself in a quandary try this simple technique to break a tie:

Flip a coin.  Yes, flip a coin.  Heads for decision one and Tails for decision two.  If you are tempted to flip again, just go with the "losing" side.  It works every time!

For more complicated decisions or those that involve more than one choice:

Make a list of Pros and Cons. Select the choice with the most Pros.  If you like you can narrow several choices down to two and flip a coin.  This never fails!

How do you make difficult decisions?  Comment below or email me!

VICARIOUS LEARNING - IT'S THE BEST

WEDNESDAY WORDS

http://www.morguefile.com/creative/cohdra
I was reading a colleagues article yesterday about choices.  In her article, J.T. O'Donnell related an incident in her music class that reminded her about a message she learned early on, "we are never choice-less."  It reminded me of a time in the fifth or sixth grade (a distant memory!).

We were in English class and learning spelling or vocabulary words, my favorite.  Now that I am sitting down to write this I realize it must have been vocabulary because I clearly remember the AHA moment when she wrote the word on the board:

VICARIOUS

Then she wrote the definition on the board in her neat and well scripted chalkboard writing hand:

Experienced through somebody else rather than at first hand, by using sympathy or the power of the imagination.

What could be better? Let others suffer their bad decisions (choices) while you learn from it!  Genius.  

Over the years I have been reminded of the power of this concept, but far too infrequently.  Primarily I only apply it when something strikes me close to home.  I'll have to remember that, I think.  Sometimes I lose track of it.  Always I wish I didn't.

Sometimes as we go through life we face similar problems or issues at a different [more challenging] level.  If we are thoughtful or seek out advice we do better this time around.  Not always.  It seems that some of us are just prone to carry our same issues throughout the whole of our life. 

In career counseling we often call this a weakness and prepare clients to answer the interview question, "What are some of your weaknesses or something you find you have to work on?" As we all strive to be our best selves each day, I am prompted to ask this of myself and you.

What are some of your weaknesses that may be keeping you from being your best self and how can you overcome or improve this?  Comment below or email me! 



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COPE WITH JOB LOSS BY HAVING A GOAL

MONDAY MISSION
REVIEW OR SET YOUR GOALS

http://www.morguefile.com/creative/summerbanks

Like any loss, a job loss often results in a feeling of grief. Inevitably you must mourn the loss of the job and all that it provided: Security, money, self-esteem, status, identity, etc. Having a concrete goal can help you through the grieving process.

I like this model for dealing with loss that is similar to the traditional Kubler-Ross Model, but this model provides two additional, more positive stages:  7 stages for moving BEYOND the grief. (http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html) 

1.     SHOCK & DENIAL-
In this stage you will feel generally numb – this serves as a coping mechanism to protect you from what may be potentially overwhelming. If you have recently lost your job you may be unable to think about how you feel about that loss, what you will do, and so forth. This stage keeps you moving forward physically and ensures you will meet all your basic needs. 

What you can do: You should take this opportunity to breathe. Literally.  Keep a notebook with you during this, and the following stages, and write EVERYTHING down.  Write down the smallest thoughts and feelings, as they come to mind.  Let yourself be emotional and feel.  The worst thing you can do is to block yourself off from your emotions. To refocus:  Keep a separate section for any positive thoughts or ideas that come to mind – you will find comfort in these as you progress through the various stages.

2.     PAIN & GUILT-
Pain and heart-break are laced with guilt in this stage. You may relate it to a lost love from which you suffered in the past.  Self-blame is common: You may knowit must be that you are not worthy or must have deserved it.

What you can do: Accept comfort and seek out others who care about you and/or who have had similar experiences, or are currently working through this process themselves.  To refocus:  Think about when you have experienced a similar feelings – what helped?  What didn’t?  Repeat those things or techniques that are tried and true.

3.     ANGER & BARGAINING-
Anger is normal. You may reach this stage pretty quickly after a job loss, whether through lay-off, illness, injury or takeover. Accept this, express it, but be mindful how you do so – you may need the help of those closest to you during the next days, weeks, and/or months.

What you can do: Anger is normal.  If it helps, scream into a pillow or an empty field (if you have one available).  You may pound your fists on the bed or jump up and down in a tantrum if you are able.  Sometimes you just need to physically express your anger to get through it.  If you are a religious person, you might plead with your higher power at this point, promising anything from a new and improved you to all the money you will ever earn if you can just get a new job.  To refocus:  Continue to write in your notebook (call it a journal if you want).  Ask yourself what you are angry about.  Return to the section of your notebook in which you wrote any positive ideas or thoughts for your return to work or just in general.


4.     "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS-
It is important for you to “feel” how you feel – you are likely to feel depressed and lonely. You are cut off from your normal social network. The bottom line is just the act of getting up, dressed, out to work every day, and  interacting with others gives you some social and emotional support that is felt missing at this point. You should allow these feelings, recognize them, and think about what support you need going forward.

What you can do: If you are feeling depressed or lonely, take this time to be alone and think about your current situation.  If you feel too lonely seek out others who you respect and/or have a positive, supportive nature. To refocus: Take stock of your assets (literally and figuratively).  These may include your skills and abilities as well as your financial assets. 

5.     THE UPWARD TURN-
Eventually you will attain a rhythm in your recuperation and/or job search and networking and will feel some sort of calm and organization. You may flash back occasionally to feelings of guilt when you realize this. Understand that this is the first step in moving beyond your grief from the loss of your job and that it is entirely NORMAL.

What you can do: Have a goal, complete with time frame, and steps that you can taketoward that goal.  Make your goal more specific and meaningful than “Get a job.”   For example, will you settle for any job right now and then move on to find a better one?  Or, do you have the resources to spend numerous months to search for a job at a given level?  To refocus:  Write down your goal and when you want to achieve it (it can be modified if necessary), develop a schedule (also in writing) that will allow you to reach your goal.  Review your schedule and goal daily.   


6.     RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
As you begin the upward turn, you will eventually be able to think about where you want to be and what type of job you might like to have. For many, this is the first time they have had the opportunity to consider what type of job they might like to do and/or what they ENJOY. Many note that the lay-off, downsizing, or job change was the best thing that could have happened because it forced them to look at what is out there relative to what they have to offer. 

What you can do: Keep writing in your notebook and re-evaluate your progress and which goals you want to keep on a weekly basis. What is working?  What is not getting you the interviews you need to get hired? Try to use a critical eye, if this is difficult, seek the help of an expert or a mentor.

7.     ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
Eventually, you will be able to accept that you may not be the same exact person you were before your “loss”, but somehow you are the best you can be and you have made the most of what life has to offer. You are able to move forward, seeking and finding other employment opportunities. It isn’t easy, but it is possible, even if it doesn’t seem so right now. 

What you can do:  You will gain confidence and hope from your activity.  Stay organized and act on every lead as soon as possible without being overly hasty.  Note anything positive that happens during the day, whether or not it is job search related.  Make your plan for the next day so that you have something to look forward to.

You may not progress neatly through these stages, but most people will experience some level of each stage.  Treat this part of your life as a leg of a journey, secure in the knowledge that you will end up where you need to be.  http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html

How do you cope with loss?  Comment Below or email me!



Other articles that may be of interest:


Feb 13, 2013
Often, unemployed job seekers set a long term goal of to "get a job." If you are employed and looking for work you may think your goal is to "find another job" or to "get a better job." A more definitive goal with clear cut time .
Dec 21, 2012
Often, unemployed job seekers set a long term goal of to "get a job." If you are employed and looking for work you may think your goal is to "find another job" or to "get a better job." A more definitive goal with clear cut time ...
Feb 18, 2013
As you note the answers to some of these questions a career goal or path may begin to shape itself out of what might seem to be unrelated bits of information. If it doesn't immediately, it may with some thought. If not, consider ...

Feb 08, 2013
#ASSESS YOUR #GOAL» jobsearchfortherestofus.com/2013/02/assess … Are your goals realistic? This can be a career planner's biggest stumbling block. Try to take a st. #Job Search for the Rest of Us! #JobSearch #Tip: ...
Oct 16, 2012
Next it is important to understand the career goal and any specifics regarding primary job target(s) – these may be very different or differ in only subtle ways. The purpose of the résumé and/or goal of the job seeker is an ...
Jan 10, 2013
Ideally you should have short and long term goals toward which you are working and be able to share these concisely. You should also be able to relate the current interview and potential offer to both your goals and the ...
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#FF #FOLLOW UP FRIDAY 02.22.13



Here are some great posts from great career experts!
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THURSDAY THOUGHT 02.21.13

Let your past make you better, not bitter. - UNKNOWN


http://www.morguefile.com/creative/Darnok
The best part of our past is what we learn from it.  Unfortunately, many of us tend to hold too tightly to those things that were the best or worst of times. We choose to live and relive in a past  glory which keeps us from seeking future glory. Or, we choose to live and relive in a past tragedy that keeps us in a tragic state.

Examine the past, employment or otherwise, and determine what you can use to make your life better now and in the future.  Let the rest go - especially if it will not benefit you. 

  • Fired -  examine the circumstance objectively and determine how to avoid this in the future.  
  • Laid off - do the same to determine if there were any predictors or how you might proactively avoid a similar circumstance in the future.
  • Passed over for promotion or offer - examine what you might change or how you might grow into a future opportunity.
  • Injured - invest yourself in your rehabilitation and return to work, not blaming your employer, insurance company, coworkers
  • Childhood tragedy - if there is something you can do, do it; if not, let it go; if you can't, talk it out with a therapist, mentor, pastor.  Let it go or let it consume you. 
  • Break up - They don't deserve you.  Examine what led to the relationship, what didn't work, and what will work in the future
Examine the past briefly. Live in the present fully. Plan for the future. 

How do you cope with the past?  Comment below or email me! 


WEDNESDAY WORDS

Dear Past, thank you for all the lessons.  Dear Future, I am now ready.



REVIEW PAST EVALUATIONS

TUESDAY TIP

If you are out of work or searching for a career path, it can be very helpful to review past evaluations or performance reviews.  Chances are you will find mostly good comments, so this can really be a good lift in the midst of a job search.

Make a list of all the good qualities, activities, and achievements you find.  Make a separate list of areas that are noted for improvement

Reviewing the resulting lists will reinforce and remind you of your strengths so that as you strive to find a career path you will have these uppermost in your mind.  This list can also help to prepare you for interviews, answering the questions:

1. What are your strengths?
2. What are your weaknesses?

You may also be reminded about coworkers with whom you have lost contact that you may benefit from contacting to add to your network.

What other benefits can you think of for reviewing past evaluations?  Comment below or email me! 


LOOK TO THE PAST

MONDAY MISSION

http://www.morguefile.com/creative/richard_b
A career plan or goal is necessary if you want to move forward.  If you have not already done so, you can look at your labor market for ideas about career direction. 

Or, you can look at your previous jobs or employers. How you have felt (or in some cases still feel) can provide clues to the type of tasks, environment, supervisor, or position you might do well in.
Consider each and ask yourself some basic questions:

  1. Which job(s) did you like best and what specifically did you like most about each?
  2. How did you “land” your jobs in the – think about how you found them, interviewed and what got you the job offer.
  3. Which boss or supervisor did you like best and what specifically did you especially appreciate?
  4. In what settings and/or locations have you been most happy, satisfied, or rewarded?
  5. Are there opportunities for you with previous employers or careers that you may have missed or the timing may not have been right for at the time?
  6. What have you dreamed about doing in the past that you may have given up on or discarded?
  7. Have you ever admired someone else’s career path or job and thought, “Wow.  I would love to do that!”

As you note the answers to some of these questions a career goal or path may begin to shape itself out of what might seem to be unrelated bits of information. If it doesn't immediately, it may with some thought.

If not, consider talking to a professional.  I can’t count the times I have met with someone and after the first session have been able to suggest a few job targets that the client is excited about.  This doesn't need to be a time consuming or expensive prospect – check it out… you are worth it!

How can your past help you find a new career path or goal?  Comment below or email me! 



Other articles that may be of interest:
Feb 05, 2013
This is an excellent time to consult someone you trust or an expert whom you can consult. As an aside, I think of thIS Chinese man I heard about who spent ten years of his life with the goal of using playing cards cards to slice ...
Feb 06, 2013
People often put off setting goals and assigning time frames because of some unknown factor or possibility. You can change your goals any time - it is easier to do if you know where you ARE and where you are GOING!
Dec 21, 2012
Often, unemployed job seekers set a long term goal of to "get a job." If you are employed and looking for work you may think your goal is to "find another job" or to "get a better job." A more definitive goal with clear cut time ...
Feb 04, 2013
Not everyone has identifiable, attainable, and/or realistic goals. Certainly many folks just never get around to writing them down. But, this is imperative to have clear goals AND to write them down AND have time frames for ...
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